30-04-2012

Caja Vital Headquarters. Mozas+Aguirre Arquitectos

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Caja Vital Headquarters. Mozas+Aguirre Arquitectos
Basque architecture is very interesting, and not only in Bilbao: impressive examples can also be found in Vitoria-Gasteiz, “European Green Capital 2012”, such as the Caja Vital Kutxa Headquarters designed by Mozas+Aguirre Arquitectos.

The plan for the headquarters of the “Caja Vital Kutxa” savings and loans fund takes the assumption that natural form is a combination of rules and chaos, of repeatable models and exceptions, and uses it as a foundation for the compositional rules of natural forms.

This approach is very favourable to the building’s inclusion in a particular environmental context, a marsh, in one of a series of city parks in Vitoria-Gasteiz known as the ”Anillo Verde”.
To prevent conflict with the building’s natural setting, the classic urban plan based on Cartesian axes is not followed here, but the irregular H-shaped plan is based on the shape of a chromosome, with arms extending from east to west and meeting in the big central space in the building to form the big hall running the full height of the building in the centre of the composition.

The walls of the hall are covered with red polyurethane panels painted by artist Javier Perez.

One of the arms extends 26 metres outward, offering spaces that have no impact on the land and suggesting the classic motion of organic forms.

On the façade too, architects Javier Mozas and Eduardo Aguirre resort to natural motifs to ensure that the building fits harmoniously into its surroundings; the metal outer structure which forms its true skeleton is inspired by the pattern of the trees around it. This wrapper with its organic forms positioned in front of the dark glass, in accordance with the architects’ intention of relating the entire building to life-bringing cells, completes the entire building in a high impact visual context.

When seen from far away, the volume almost blends into the marsh, suggesting that iconic buildings can be designed in harmony with their surroundings.

Design: Mozas Aguirre Arquitectos, Javier Mozas & Eduardo Aguirre, http://www.mozasaguirre.com/
Client: Caja Vital Kutxa
Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Paesi Baschi, Spain
Artists: Javier Perez – two walls and the ceiling in the foyer, Miguel Gonzalez de San Román – paintings on the foundations.
Completion: 2007
Photographs: Cesar San Millan


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